Fat Tomatoes, Fat Potatoes

Things were looking relatively bleak Saturday morning; it was a cold and windy day at the garden, and only two people were there when we first showed up. The exciting part was that Rasheem was there, ready to work, as was Paul, a younger kid who is really committed to the garden. We had just met Rasheem on Thursday when he attended the Cooper Series panel on Urban Agriculture, and we were glad to see he took us up on the offer to come out and work on Saturdays.
We started out by digging a little gutter bordering the perennials that we planted last week, and used our wooden planks to box them in by the fence. By that time a few more kids had trickled in, and they helped to harvest some tomatoes. Miss Carol came by and dropped off some hot cocoa and doughnut holes for us, so that paired with apples made a nice treat, and, as we were eating, we got another surprise!
Everybody was caught off guard when a truck suddenly pulled up and dumped a HUGE pile of woodchips right by our spot on the basketball court. We had hoped they would come today, but were unsure about the details. Of course the pile was just too tempting for the kids and they had to climb on it, but we still managed to get a good amount into the wheelbarrows and surround the perennials with the woodchips. Luckily, it wasn’t too hard to get done because by this point kids were pouring in – one point I counted over 20 in the garden! The time had also come to rip up the sweet potatoes and kale, as they are pretty much done for the year. We had a great time finding all the sweet potatoes left hidden in the dirt though – as Ciani said, “These potatoes are FAT!” She looked through all our produce, actually, proudly declaring one after another to be even bigger and fatter. We had so many veggies to distribute at the end that I was really glad so many kids had shown up!
Also, we gave out invitations to our end-of-the-season party, with permissions slips attached. Mymai was especially excited to find herself in one of the photos Zach used in the invitation (on Flickr – see if you can spot Mymai pointing herself out in the invite to Blaine, and Jesse’s sweet potato necklace), and we’re really looking forward to formally acknowledging and celebrating all of their accomplishments soon! We’ll see if next week we can get a woodchip path going through the garden.

– N

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